Featured

January Blahs!

We have slowly moved into 2019 and January is always a tough month for me because of the weather.  I live for the warm sunny days of summer but living in New England you learn to cope with the unpredictable winter weather.  I look forward to the 40 degree “warm weather” days in hopes to get out on the water and avoid the ice.  I will even push it to take on a 33-degree weather day with some sun.  You may think paddling in the middle of the winter in cold conditions is crazy and that you would never do it.  Never say Never!

Six years ago when I started to race Standup Paddle Boards and knew that I had to somehow continue my training through the winter months, I decided that I was going to get on the water.  I researched what other paddlers did for protection against the weather conditions and cold water and based on that information I began my winter training on the water.  The cold air wakes the body up, add on the protective layers and get out on that water.  Once I entered the water with my board, I knew this was going to be an amazing experience.  As much as it is beautiful during the summer months it is even more breathtaking during the winter months.  The water is so clear and because the boat traffic is very limited, there is a calmness that puts me into my zone to train.

Paddling in the winter does not necessarily need to be for training for a Standup Paddle Board race, it can also be another form of fitness outside of the gym.  I guarantee that once you step onto your board and get past the thought of it being winter in New England, you will be hooked and will want to make this part of your fitness routine.

Any questions on how to take get started, reach out to me at ccsupgirl21@gmail.com

See you on the water!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramby feather

Paddle For Plummer 2018

For the last 5 years I have participated in a Standup Paddle Board race to raise funds for the Plummer Youth Promise.  The Plummer Youth Promise provides a safe home for kids who have been in the foster system for years and are near aging out of the system or need to be in a safe home.  The Plummer Youth Promise works to help these teens to find a family and work with them to build their trust and show that there are good people out there that can provide a safe and loving home.  Although I cannot relate to what these kids have gone through as I grew up in a loving, supportive and safe home, I feel very strongly that all children should grow up feeling safe and loved.

Each year this event is put together with the tireless efforts of Leah Goodman and Christos Douroudis of SUP East Coast Style with their team and with Nicole McLaughlin and Leanne Schild of Plummer Youth Promise with their team as well as countless volunteers and sponsors.  This year I was honored to be asked to be an Ambassador for the event. This meant I had the pleasure of sharing the stoke for this event by spreading the word in the paddle community, raising funds and being a part of the Friday night clinic by providing extra help to those looking to learn how to paddle or improve on their paddling skills.

The kickoff to the event was Friday’s night clinic hosted by Surftech’s SUP Athlete Jeramie Vaine. This clinic was a full house with many new paddlers eager to learn the sport and paddlers familiar with the sport that wanted to take their skill to the next level.  The storms experienced that afternoon has cleared up in time for the clinic we ended up with great weather for the night and had a lot of fun learning, laughing and supporting each other on the water together.  I saw so many smiles of those who had never paddled before, stood up for the first time or were preparing to race for the first time.  This night really started the event and pulled a community together for such a good cause.  Thank you for all those who attended and contributed to helping The Plummer Youth Promise.

Saturday morning was race day. The stoke was high, the weather was perfect, sunny and not too hot. Vendors set up their tents, Yoga classes were being conducted on the water, and the Spin Classes were full of energy.  The day turns into a big family event as there is something for everyone on land and on the water.  The SUP races included a fun race, short course race and a long course race. There was something to fit all levels of paddlers.  In true SUP East Coast Style fashion, the race course was fun. Each race buoy had a matching cast of inflatable characters including Unicorns and Pegasus. Needless to say, buoy turns around these fun floats was interesting and fun. How can racing be that scary if you are paddling past a unicorn?

Unfortunately, I came down with a stomach illness Saturday morning and was not feeling well by the start of the Long Course race.  I did make an attempt to start the race but had to withdraw from the race at the first buoy. When that happened, I was taken excellent care of by the support crew on the water. A huge thank you to Christos for paddling my board back from the buoy and to Connor for taking me back to the beach on the jet ski.  Even though I was not feeling well enough to finish the race, I was still happy to be there and be part of the event. I can definitely say the day and this event is not about winning a race, it is about the SUP community.  The SUP community came together to make sure that these kids are giving a real childhood with the funds that were raised by the paddlers, the community and the sponsors.

A Standup Paddle Board racer will train hard for their race day. They are disciplined. They work hard, eat right and are focused. More importantly, they also know what it means to support another racer, whether it be a quick shout out on the course or cheering on paddlers while at the finish. They also know the meaning of community and what it means to race for a charity.  This is how the SUP community works and why it is so important to make sure that the community continues grow whether it be for a diehard racer or someone who races recreationally.  We all need to do our part to share the stoke! Go out and paddle with someone you enjoy being with. Encourage those that have not paddled to learn to paddle today and watch as the see a whole new world open up for them!Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramby feather

An East Coaster Takes On The Pacific Paddle Games 2016

img_1997What do you do when it is time to take it up notch with competing in SUP races?….Well you sign up for the Pacific Paddle Games and that is exactly what I did.

So much excitement and nervousness built up the days before arriving in Dana Point, CA but once I arrived that vibe of a SUP community was felt throughout.  Dana Point has become a location close to my heart but that feeling was a lot stronger with the arrival of all the athletes, many who I have connection with through the SUP community back home.

Day 1 of the PPG was not short of excitement with the Pro Technical Preliminaries in both the SUP and Prone divisions.  Watching the Pros with their beach starts as they cleared the water with one jump onto their board, cut through the massive surf, and ease around each buoy was amazing and gave me a lot to digest for what I would be facing over the next couple of days.  I went to bed that night with my dreams going over each aspect of that technical race…..then the alarm went off and it was game on.

Day 2 started off with more technical racing from the Pros to the Groms, which I will say that those Groms could have taught me a lot.  It was so inspirational to see those boys and girls breaking out through the surf without hesitation.  Meanwhile, my practice session turned into a smack down by the waves of the West Coast which turned put nerves into high gear providing a lot of trembling and fear.  What did I get myself into? I am a long distance paddler not a sprinter and the waves I have been practicing on have nothing on what competitive beach like Doheny Beach had to offer.  One more practice run and my confidence was building back up.  It was time for the racer’s meeting and then we would head to water line for a beach start.  The trembling started again as I looked across at the surf building up. A It was at that moment a voice started to whisper into my ear telling me that “I’ve got this”, that calming familiar voice was my husband who always knows when and what to say to get my head back in the race.  I lined up close to my dear friend and fellow Kialoa/ Cobian Team Rider, Evelyn O’Doherty.  All she needs to do is give me that look of we can do this and I
know I will be ok.  The beach line was ready, the horn goes off and all 40 women
run into the surf ready to take on a 3 lap technical race that already has about 100 men circling the waters in their race (it was a staggered start).  As I approached the loop with my pack, we need to maneuver our way into the ebb that has already been started by the men.  My first thought is this is crazy but then I realize I need to pay attention, I need to know where my paddle is going to and make sure that my board does not hit other boards while getting around each buoy.  No problem, “I’ve got this”…I think.  Lap 1 is done, I am good and still on my board (which I add is a borrowed board and my first time using it). On to Lap 2, the waters had become choppier but we have now caused a current that is just pushing us around the course. Boards are starting to collide and racers are going down.  At this time I kept telling myself I just need to stay on the board and make it to Lap 3,  but then I realized I still have to surf into the finish on a board I am not familiar with.  Do I take my time on Lap 3 or just get it over with? Silly question… it was that moment where my competitive nature came through and I attacked Lap 3 and made that final turn around the last buoy to and the surf into the finish. The wave Gods must have heard my prayers because they were what I call “happy waves” which brought me to the finish line safely.  The second wave on my ride in was close to the shore and I rode it perfectly, but I jumped early and was struggling into the pull of the white wash. Thankfully, there was a race volunteer there who grabbed me and helped me to my feet.  I wish I had the name of that volunteer who told me to hold onto my paddle, I got you. He saved me from being pulled back by the set of waves that were about to come onshore.  Since I don’t know his name, I’ll take this opportunity to thank him and all the volunteers that made sure all of the Paddlers were helped in the surf and their boards were brought into shore.  As I ran up the beach with my paddle in my hand to the finish, I could feel the relief overcome me as I passed through the finish line……I did it!  My emotions took over as I was hugged by my fellow paddlers and then saw my husband who gave me the thumbs up and that look of I knew you could do it.  My emotions got even stronger, bringing tears of joy at the realization that I had accomplished something completely outside of my comfort zone combined with the congratulatory hug from my dear friend and mentor Evelyn.  Day 2 was complete and now I was ready to take on my specialty, the distance race.

Day 3 was an early start with the racers meeting at 7:45 am and the Open Distance Race starting at 11am.  That was fine with me as I like to have that extra time to prepare before the race starts.  The Women’s Pro and Junior Pros distance race went off first, which followed with the Men’s Pro and Junior Pros distance race. Once the pros had finished, it was finally time for over 100 + Open Paddlers to head to the starting line (3 milers and 6 milers).  As we patiently waited at the starting line, the wind and chop started to pick up, so I knew there was going to be challenge ahead of me.  Once Anthony Vela made sure we were all fairly lined up the count down began.  It was a jump up on our boards and we were off, sort of… I would have to say it was one of my worse starts ever in racing.  Between the ocean swell and the wake made by the race boards, it was a challenge to stay on the board and get a decent stroke in with some sort of form.  I was entered in the six mile race so it was going be two laps of this crazy ride.  The first leg to the first buoy turn was a side swell with a mix of wind.  Again it was a conversation with myself of stay on the board and paddle to the best of my ability.  As I approached the first buoy turn and was able to get a nice ride to the buoy, I sat back on my board to take the turn and another paddler falls right in front of me.  I got this, get around him before he gets back on that board and to ensure he does not I yell out that I am coming around don’t jump back on yet.  He heard me and backed off which was a good call as we both would have been in that water.  Coming around that bend was a blessing as we had a slight down winder which was not a break but a different type paddle.  As I headed for the second lap, I saw the three mile racers starting to head in and know I need to make it around one more time through the crazy wind and side swell.  As my mind starts arguing with the cramping in my calves from doing everything to stay on the board I tell myself that you have made it this far, and there is no turning back.  I approach the buoy to start the last leg of the six miles and I keep my eye on the surf as that is the next challenge after completing the six miles.  I make it all the way to the buoy that starts the push into the finish line and it happens, I get knocked off my board.  I made it all this way and now it happens. Now I am mad, so I get back on my board and starting sprinting in.  I turn my head to the side to check for the surf, looking for the right wave and I see it in the distance. I tell myself that this is the push I need to get in.  I set myself up for the perfect ride in so I began to paddle hard to where I could feel the lift. I got into my surfers stance and had the feeling that I’ve got this wave, and then it happens….wipe out.  I pop out of the water and there was another set coming in fast. I told myself not to panic, turn the board around and get back on quick.  I started paddling as hard as I could and it happened again however, this time there wasn’t enough time for me to stand so I came in on my knees.  It was not pretty but I was determined to get in on my own and finish what I started.  With what was left in me, I jumped off my board, paddle in one hand and my pride in the other and ran to the finish line.  All that mattered at that moment is that I did it and I was already planning in my head how my training would change.

My first PPG racing was now in the books. My results were not my best but I can only get better.  I ended up with 11th place in my age group for the Technical and 10th place in age group for the six mile race.  I will take what I learned and only improve on the areas I can do better in.  I experienced a lot of emotions this weekend, met a lot of amazing people and raced with my SUP peeps and am already looking forward to next year to come back to do it again. I could not have done all of it without the support of my husband Brett, and my dear friend Evelyn.  I also want to thank Kialoa Paddles, Cobian Footwear and MOCEAN of Cape Cod for believing in me.  This weekend was an amazing adventure and I am looking forward to coming face to face with the next adventure.Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramby feather

Cape Cod Bay Challenge 2016

It’s Saturday morning and my alarm goes off at 3:00am, normally I would groan at the thought of getting up at this time on a Saturday morning but this morning was the ninth running of the 2016 Cape Cod Bay Challenge and my fourth time crossing the bay.  There were butterflies in my stomach but not because I was off to a SUP race but because I was excited to cross the Cape Cod Bay with 24 other paddlers who share the same passion, the love for SUP and the passion to raise money for Christopher’s Haven.

CCBC Let's Do ThisAll the training each day led up to this morning where a group of us head down to the beach to launch our paddle boards to head across the bay.  As we say our “Good Mornings” with a smile and a little bit of nervousness on what the day on the water will bring, we know that whatever challenges we may face during the crossing pale in comparison to the challenges that the families we are raising the money for face every day. So whatever challenges we face, we can attack them together as a group.  Each year it is always a different challenge for this group as we are under the mercy of Mother Nature and the Sea Gods.  This year Mother Nature was kind but the Sea Gods did tests us.

After our safety meeting ends, Mike Brown, one of the of the founders of the event blows on the conch shell to signal the start of the crossing and we gracefully enter the water (the opposite of a beach race start) and we head off into the early dawn on some very calm and peaceful water.  We introduce ourselves to the newcomers, chat with old friends and head off as the sun starts to rise.  The harbor master safely escorts us out to the bay, the lead boat and safety boats line up and we are off.

The excitement begins early as this year we launched from Scussett Beach in Sagamore so we were greeted with the currents and tides that come from the Cape Cod Canal.  This was an interesting moment as some of use were wondering if this crazy water would be with us the whole way but as I looked ahead I could see the water was becoming more calm.  I looked over at another paddler who also could see the calm waters and we would knew we’d get a little bit of a break before whatever else was head of us.CCBC Sun Rise

This year the group was small but mighty and were able to stay at a good clip as our lead boat kept us around 3.5 to 4 mph.  As the morning progressed, those calm waters started to change and brought out the fun swells that the Bay churns up.  At the 10th mile we stopped for a water/snack break. Our Captains with their crew on each boat took great care of all us by providing extra waters and snacks. We started to head out again after the break and not far along into our paddle I noticed the lead boat pointing at something and I said to myself “here we go”, thinking my biggest fear was becoming a reality.  I turned to see a fin behind us but this fin was attached to a Sailfish who just wanted to check us out and hang for a bit….Phew!

This year I was really able to reflect back on past challenges and how far I come to tackling this challenge.  My first year, I felt I could do this. Not knowing what the training really required and then realizing after being picked up 3 times by the support boat that my training involved a whole level that I was not prepared for.  Each year I have stepped up the training. Even though nothing can prepare you for “out of your hands” weather conditions, I think I finally figured the formula out. That is to combine the physical training  and the passion and strive to help others.  Normally, I go into my training for SUP races for me and my string will to perform at my best,  but for this event I train to help others and to work as a team.

After our lunch break, 19 miles in, we were starting to see land and knew we were getting closer to Wellfleet as we could see the cliffs in the distance.  Our safety boats had to start turning off this point as the waters become too shallow and rocky for them but they would meet us later in Wellfleet harbor.  As the waters became more shallow we were greeted by a very curious seal who checked us out and then left.  At one point, the water became too shallow for us to paddle and we had to add carrying the boards across a sandbar as part of the challenge. Once over the sandbar, we were back on the boards and off to Mayo Beach in Wellfleet for the finish.

As we round the next sandbar, we enter Wellfleet harbor. At this point we are about 5 miles away from our landing site where all our friends and families are there to greet us.  We gather together to make sure we paddle the harbor as a group and finish as a group.  The approach is so close yet so far away, we are now guided in by our Mike Chase, founder and the reason this event exists ever year.  He usually paddles with us but this year he was able to support us from the safety board and cheered us on the end.thumb_IMG_0659_1024

The beach is ahead of us, you can see and hear all our friends and family cheering us and the emotions began to take over.  The feeling is so overwhelming that I cry as I paddle in. I can barely get off the board and into the arms of my husband who has supported me through it all along with my son Tyler.  The best surprise of all is to see my friends who drove a distance and flew in to see this event.
thumb_IMG_0715_1024CCBC_Brett

The love and support I received from everyone at the end of this challenge is beyond amazing and gives me the strength to paddle across the bay.

After this long day, our efforts are awarded with an after party with food, a band, and the best is a free massage for all the paddlers, very much needed.  Thank your Laura Kavaliauskaite, you saved my body from hurting the next morning.  As we enjoy a very well deserved meal, it is time to talk about the day, why we are here and what we do this for, the families of Christopher’s Haven.  When we hear the stories of what these children with cancer go through and what their families face each day, it only empowers us more to make sure that they receive the funds to keep ththumb_IMG_0731_1024is organization going.  The night ends with the new comers receiving their first fish hook which provides strength and protection on the water and then the veterans receive their next fish hook to be added along side the years past.  I wear my every day not only because it protects me on the water but it reminds me everyday of the challenges in life and that they can be overcome with strength and determination.

Next year will be the 10th Anniversary of the Cape Cod Bay Challenge which I am very excited to be a part of again.  As I finish this blog, the one thing I hope to leave you with is that after you reading about my adventure it gives you the determination to go out there and do something that challenges you, and if it is the CCBC then join us next year.

CCBC GROUP

“Christopher’s Haven was founded in 2001 when a group of people saw the desperate need for temporary, low-cost housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families while receiving treatments at Boston hospitals.”http://christophershaven.org/

Thank you Mike Chase and the entire Board of Directors for CCBC for everything that you do for us  from keeping us safe, keeping us motivated and moving and most of all for helping Christopher’s Haven.

 

 Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramby feather

FITNESS OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

When you think of ways to workout the first thoughts come to mind are usually running and working out at the gym. When you think of a getaway with the girls, you usually think of poolside resorts with fancy drinks and spa appointments. Well let’s blow some holes into those thoughts and talk about when you do a Paddle to Climb with Casi Rynkowski of Performance Training and Outdoor Fitness.   I am not one to sit by the pool for vacation, drink fancy drinks and book spa appointments. I get too bored. Additionally, my workouts are not typical (think CrossFit, Spartan Races and Triathlons) so when I signed on for the Paddle to Climb I knew I would be challenged while having fun.

 

Paddle to Climb pic

Our first day started out on a very windy but warm morning on the Connecticut River. Casi guided us on how to load up our Stand Up Paddle Boards with tents and camping gear. This was a first for me as when I typically head out on my Stand Up Paddle Board it includes one small dry bag and me. So, to put it mildly, step one was already outside of my comfort zone. For those who need an image, my BIC board was equivalent to a camel loaded with gear for a journey across the Sahara desert. Once we were all balanced and comfortable, we were ready to head down the brackish river in a fast running down winder. This was going to be fun! As we headed down the river the wind was behind us and we had a nice push of current and waves, which allowed us to enjoy the scenery and the company of each other. We had 18 miles ahead of us and a lot of river to cover and see.

 

IMG_1002Our first stop included a break from the wind and current. Through one of the side rivers we stopped for an early lunch in a small inlet cove. It gave us some time to rest and power up for the remainder of the trip. Once we got some protein and water in our bodies, we were ready to continue down the river. As I jokingly asked if there were gators in these waters, we came upon a sign warning us of the Copperhead Den, I would have been happier to see a warning for gators as I am extremely afraid of snakes, and yes, this was the second moment outside of my comfort zone. I was fine, moved passed the warning sign but kept my eye triggered for any sign of those unwanted friends.   As we continued down the river, I stopped to realize I was not in training mode for a race but actually taking a pleasure paddle and enjoying my surroundings, an area I am not familiar with. It was nice to just slow down, breathe and enjoy the moment that was happening around me…..nature.

IMG_1003

As the river came to an end we headed into the harbor where the winds had picked up even more and our down winder was pushing us harder…but what a ride. Although no one said it out loud at first, we all knew with such a great ride down that we would pay for it on our paddle back. In order to get out of the wind, we entered into protected waters that brought us into town, which gave us the opportunity to sit out the wind for a bit. With any adventure, you need to explore your surroundings and so we did. We decided to walk into the town and when we did, we felt as if we had walked back in time. The town had this small General Store that carried everything from snacks to antiques. We fueled up on some ice cream (that may or may not have been expired) and then headed back to our boards. The wind seemed to have slowed and switched on us but we discovered that was not the case once we left the protected harbor. We had a battle in front of us but that is what Paddle Boarding is all about, being able to handle all different situations. This portion of the trip we lovingly named “Satan’s Bowels” as we had to dig deep to get ourselves to our campsite on Selden Island. We made it to the campsite feeling that we had accomplished a lot in those 18 miles and it was a great feeling.

 

Paddle to Climb pic2Third moment outside of my comfort zone… camping. The night before I practiced, with the help of my husband, how to put up this tent and that was my job as we prepped our campsite. With some help from Kate Egnaczak, fellow paddler and climber in the group, the tent was up. At this point the fire was also going and we were ready to eat. Casi’s excellent culinary skills provided us with yummy chicken fajitas, and we enjoyed an evening of getting to know each other better. Eventually the evening came to a close and we headed off to our tent as we had a big day tomorrow, which included the fourth moment outside of my comfort zone….rock climbing.

 

Matt Shove, Founder, Senior Guide & Instructor at Ragged Mountain Guides met us the next morning to begin the second half of this adventure. We hiked to the first location which was a climb that provided a beautiful scenery and included propelling down in order to climb up…”hmmmm…you want me to do what???”. Well I propelled down, started my climb up with Matt’s guidance along with the supportive words of Casi and Kate. As I got to the top, the feeling of accomplishment overwhelmed me and I felt a huge boost of confidence and the undefeatable feeling of “I can do this!”. After a couple of more climbs, we headed back to camp for some lunch and believe me when I tell you, the almond butter sandwich I made never tasted so good. After lunch, we gathered our gear, got back on our boards and headed to the next location…the interior climb.
The interior climb described by a person who has never climbed before….”oh S**t! I am going to climb that??”. The response was “yes and you are going first.” As they told me, the first climb will frustrate you and then you will learn to take your time and think through it like a puzzle. They were right, the first climb was frustrating, however I did get to my comfort point which was not that far up, but far enough to understand that I need to sit back and watch the others in order to get this done. As I watched the grace and grit of the others, I realized what I needed to do to get this done. My turn was up for the second climb and I listened to Matt’s guidance on where I should put my footing, how to use my legs to push up to the next spot, and how to feel along the rock on where to put my fingers. Listening to Casi telling me that I can do this and to not give up pushed me even harder to get to the top and that is exactly what I did. What a feeling to know that I just did this climb, something I have never done before by pushing my fear aside, clearing my mind and enjoying what I was doing in the moment. We moved over to a more flat faced part of the rock and continued to climb. This time I went last and knew I had to finish my day with one last good climb. I started the climb, felt along the flat surface with my hands looking for tPaddle to Climb last climbhat perfect spot, pushed up with my legs and then moved to the next spot on the rock. I took my time, repeated this movement while looking up for my next spot to move to. I kept telling myself to “clear your mind, listen to your breathing, and enjoy the moment and the view as you are above the trees”. I made it to the top, touched the top as I was ringing a bell and propelled back down with this pumped feeling that I could do anything at that moment. Paddle to Climb propellAs I reached the final decent to the ground I was greeted with a supportive congratulations from all and then told that I just climbed a rock that was rated a 5.9. What does that mean you ask? It means the level of difficulty and a 5.9 means that the climb has smaller holds but is a confidence builder for a beginner climber. It did just that, it gave me the confidence I needed and made me fall in love with climbing.

 

The adventIMG_1005ure was a positive moment from the day we headed down the river to the last climb on the second day. There was endurance building, pushing yourself to the limits and constantly working outside of your comfort zone within a supportive atmosphere. Casi through her company, Performance Training and Outdoor Fitness has created a not so typical workout and made an adventure workout that pushes you to go from “I can’t do that” to “I can do that and I want to do it again!”. If you are looking for such an adventure, then I suggest you join the next one offered by Performance Training and Outdoor Fitness to find that adventurous you!

 

On to the next adventure!!!!Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramby feather

SUP Community

thumb_IMG_0377_1024What does SUP Community mean?

To me SUP Community means the people involved with SUP that want to engage with others in order to share the love of the sport.  This means getting together on the weekends, during the week, before work, after work or attending races together.  This also means a community of people who share the common interest of SUP but also unite in order to use this connection for charity events, race training, environment awareness, and encouraging each other to achieve their dreams.

When I started this sport over six years ago, I did it mainly to try something new. Stand up paddling then evolved into another way to add fitness into my life and which slowly progressed into racing.  Through the racing, I started to make connections with others who race and eventually these connections lead to friendships. Eventually I began to see these same group of people at the various events, out on the own, or starting new adventures in their life.  As the relationships grow, you watch as the group grows as there are so many thumb_IMG_0382_1024connections among the SUP community and they don’t all necessarily live in the same town or even the same state.  The sport has grown but the individuals involved are a close knit group that are connected all over.  The members of this community are an amazing group of people, all from different walks of life and all with different stories of how they got their start in paddling and what keeps them coming back. With each event I attend, I always seem to make another connection and that connection becomes another person supporting me or me supporting them in this sport and the achievements in their life.

I have experienced the SUP Community in Dana Point, CA where the group meets each morning to train for races and but also meets on a social level.  Another group, SUP Hampton has a group that meets for training, charity events, and beach clean up.  In seeing what others are doing, I have started SUP Cape Cod. Using Facebook as a way to communicate and share stories I’d love to see this community grow on Cape Cod.  My goal is to start getting people together on a weekly basis to train together, to go out for fun paddles,  and to race together and share techniques.  I also like to see the group give back. That could be in the form of  beach clean ups, attending charity races as a group or team and for it to be a group that helps others by supporting them in their achievements and goals.  This is also a great opportunity for the family to enjoy a sport together and do something that gets them disconnected from the daily craziness and enjoy each other other.

Interested in SUP but not sure about it yet? Request an invite to join the SUP Cape Cod group on Facebook.  Learn more about the sport and the SUP Community by asking questions, join us on the posted paddle events and maybe even sign up for some races.  This an opportunity to be a part of a growing sport that can help you with a healthy lifestyle that is also a blast!!

A very Cape Cod Aloha and I’ll see you out on the Water!thumb_IMG_0390_1024Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramby feather

She has Arrived!

This journey to pick out the right board started about 3 months ago as I first had to convince myself that it was time to make a change from my current race board and start the research into the right board.  Who knew what was involved, the many brands to choice from and making sure it was a good fit.  I started to head in the direction of Bote because my husband owns one and raved about the craftsmanship, quality, and durability of the board and he was drawn to the fact that the boards were made in the USA, Ft. Walton Beach, FL to be specific and that we could purchase it locally through our favorite SUP Shop, MOCEAN.
Once the decision was made, Brett and I took a trip to Ft. Walton Beach, FL to demo some boards.  After two days of trying different boards, I decided I was hooked on the DarkRoom. From there I worked with Pete Buzzelli, Bote’s Darkroom Guru, on specs for the board. Fast forward 4 weeks… she has arrived.

IMG_3217
Ryan Hewson from MOCEAN reached out me as soon as she arrived and yes, I wanted to fake a sickness at work in order to leave and see what I have been anxiously waiting for. However, I knew I had to share this with my husband so I patiently waited (ok, maybe not so patiently) and we met with Ryan at MOCEAN Saturday just as the store was opening.  Ryan was good enough to keep it in the box so that I could get the joy of unwrapping this beauty. The unveiling was a challenge in  itself,  as Bote had done an excellent job in packaging the board to ensure it arrived damage free. Once the box was removed, this is what I uncovered:

IMG_3233 IMG_3224

It was like Christmas morning for me as I could not cut the packaging quick enough off to reveal what was so well protected.  With the help of Ryan and Brett I was finally able to get to what I was so excited to finally see.  The work done to complete this board is amazing and truly worth the wait as it was hand crafted and built by Peter Buzzelli and the DarkRoom team.  We just   admired for awhile at the MOCEAN shop until it was time to get her on the Jeep for her first paddle.

IMG_3236IMG_3238IMG_3239 IMG_3237

 

 

Brett and I drove to our favorite spot, Monk’s Cove in Monument Beach. I had fun with the dramatics about her first launch and just as I put her in the water and stepped onto her for the first time, I had made a connection with her and knew I made the right choice.  The way she glides across the water even into a choppy current with a head wind and minimal effort it takes to make her go. I kept catching myself just watching the nose cut through the water effortlessly.  Yes… this is the start of a great relationship with my board.

IMG_3248

It may sound like a lot to do in order to purchase a board, but I highly recommend doing your research before purchasing a board for racing or touring.  It is a big purchase, an investment, and something that you really need to be comfortable with from a personal fit.  Going to a local shop like MOCEAN is a good start as the staff there can help fit you with the right board by allowing you to demo IMG_3244various boards and providing you with the information needed to make sure you are comfortable a board and that it fits with what your paddling needs are. Take your time and do your homework! It is an investment into a healthy lifestyle.

Spring is officially here, I’ve got my new board and am ready to get out there, are you?

See you on the water!Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramby feather

Cape Cod SUP Family

IMG_0222IMG_0235

Spring is starting to arrive, the air is getting warmer and the days are starting to get longer.  The training is increasing, 31.5 miles are in the books so far and more miles need to be put in as the 2016 race is upon us. My goal is to push harder in the races while inspiring others to get out there and do what they love or didn’t think they could do.

My family is a great example because as I started SUP six years ago, it was not until recently that my husband and son started to get involved and joined the racing side of SUP.  Brett demoed many boards through MOCEAN and fell in love with Bote.  He IMG_0228now rides a Bote HD 12′ which fits his needs at this time because at 6’1 balance does not come easy to him.  He is comfortable on this board, he is able to race in the recreational races due to the size of his board and can also use the board to go fishing.  This is a great board for those who want to race or travel long distance but want the security of balance.  His goal is to move up to a 14′ race board and I can see that happen soon as he has the passion to make that happen.

My son demoedIMG_0229 a BIC Tracer through MOCEAN’s rental fleet, used the board for a race, placed in his first race and now he owns that BIC Tracer 12’6.  Both my son and husband do not have as much time to put in the training but they put it in when they can and supplement the training.  When not on the water, my husband will work out at the gym at the location
where he travels for work and my son gets it done at CrossFit Bourne.

Today I was able to get them both out with me to complete some winter SUP training. A big thank you to Ryan Hewson at MOCEAN for hooking Tyler up in a great wetsuit from RipCurl which made it possible for him join us today.  As I was able to go off on my training, Brett and Tyler were able to get some mileage in to start their training and have a little father/son time.  This was a great day to see them both out on the water, doing something we all love as a family and being active as a family.  The paddle today started by dropping in at Ockway Bay. From there I headed out to Nantucket Sound, then towards the Popponesset River where I met Brett and Tyler paddling at a good clip towards me.  It was such a great site to see the both of them together and pushing each other to get their training done while still enjoying the day out on the water.

IMG_0227

As much as the weather was great today for paddling, it is still important to be dressed appropriately for the weather and water conditions.  Wetsuit, booties, gloves, and hats are still important and it is better to layer up and peel down when needed.  The conditions on the water can change quickly so always plan your travels and have your back up plan for when the conditions change.  Today, I was lucky to get some open ocean training in while still knowing that I had land nearby in the event there were any problems. This still allowed me to add mileage by staying intercostal as the winds started to pick-up further into my training.

As we spring ahead this weekend think about what you what to change in your life. Is it trying a new sport? Going on a new adventure with your family?  It is not always about the time you put in but the quality of that time you put in to get your goals accomplished.

IMG_0239Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramby feather

Team MOCEAN – Adventures in Ice Climbing

Who and what is Team MOCEAN? Team MOCEAN is a group put together by Ryan Hewson, SUP/Surfer enthusiast and owner of MOCEAN Surf Company in Mashpee Commons. Ryan put together a team that he wanted to spread the Cape Cod Aloha, a love of the outdoor activities that we as Cape Codders and visitors have access to. The team includes Ryan, Jason Chorches, Tara Regan, Brett Currier, Michelle Currier and junior team member Tyler Currier. Our mission is to get everyone to go out and do an activity that they have never tried before but always wanted to, with us there to help with that mission and knowing that we are out there doing it ourselves as well.

Tara Regan (MOCEAN Ambassador, Yoga instructor, SUP Yoga Instructor, SUP fitness trainer and SUP instructor) and I took our training outside, to a different location and outside of our comfort zone…….Ice Climbing. This trip was made available through Casi Rynkowski Performance Training and Outdoor Fitness, www.casiperformancetraining.com and guided by Matt Shove of Ragged Mountain Guides LLC, www.raggedmountainguides.com and Jim Bernard. In preparing for this adventure, Tara helped me with the correct clothing and gear, a majority of which were purchased at MOCEAN, such as SmartWool for the base layers and comfort socks, North Face outer weather gear and a buff to cover the face.

Me_Climb

Getting outside and beyond your comfort zone provides a whole new world of fitness training. The morning started with a 40-minute uphill hike in the beautiful White Mountains National Forest to Champney Falls. The hike is a workout in itself as you are geared up with boots that can only be compared to ski boots, a helmet, a large pack, rope and axes. If you think you only can challenge yourself at a gym, try this first and see if you still if you think that way when done. You’ll find yourself walking snow trails with ice, crossing frozen streams while carrying your gear, all while heading uphill as your guide is leading you at a brisk pace. It is well worth the sweat and tears as you arrive to your climb destination of Champney Falls. This was my first for hiking in the snow in the White Mountains and ice climbing, all while being out of your comfort zone, scared of the unknown but excited to be able to learn something new. It took my breath away when I first saw the wall of ice that we would be climbing and I will admit my first attempt I was scared out of my mind. After the encouragement of my fellow climbers, I went for my second attempt and knew I could do this. We spent a day with climbers of all levels of experience including those of us that had no experience, to some with moderate experience and others with years of experience such as to our experienced Guides. Matt, Jim, Justin and Casi provided patience with their training, showed us a lot of encouragement and pushed us to keep going because they knew we could handle more. After a great day of challenging ourselves, a lot of laughs and sharing our stories to learn more about each other, we left the falls for our hike back down. As we hiked back to our cars, a sense of accomplishment came over me as well as a feeling of happiness as I had realized that I had just spent the day with some very strong and aspiring women. Thank you Casi for being that female who wants to cheer on and support other females to better themselves.

 

Jim_Michelle

Tara and I said our goodbyes at the end of the day, thanked our Guides and wished our new friends the best and to stay in touch for the next adventure. As Tara and I drove home we recounted our day on what we had just achieved and how we can share this sense accomplishment in what we do everyday. There will be more adventures for us and we hope that you will follow us and even join us.

Group

 

This blog is dedicated to the ones that think they can’t but try anyways as it is always better to know that you failed at trying than regretting that you never tried.

 

For Team MOCEAN’s next adventure, follow us on
Facebook
Instagram
www.moceancapecod.com
www.capecodsupgirl.com
www.afluidjourney.comFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramby feather

Weekend with Bote Board

cropped-IMG_3113-1.jpgGiven the harshness of the bitter cold New England weather we experienced this weekend, I enjoyed writing this blog as it brought back some warm memories of our visit to Ft. Walton Beach and Destin Florida. While there we met the crew at Bote Board. I was excited about this trip for a while and thanks to Ryan Hewson at MOCEAN it became a reality.  Bote manufactures some really great boards for both surfing and SUP (racing, yoga, & fishing) and MOCEAN carries the Bote brand for all your SUP needs

After 5 years with my Surftech Bark Pro Elite, I have decided to change my board for racing. Don’t get me wrong, the Surftech Bark was and is a great board. It has helped me place in many races and carried me across the bay for the Cape Cod Bay Challenge for the past three years but it is time to move on. Our trip to Ft. Walton started with a tour of the Bote store and factory. We walked into the store and it was the same feeling you’d have as a little kid walking into Disney World for the first time. The front of the building serves as a retail shop and consists of just rows and rows of beautiful new boards and older boards, all with a story, hung from the rafters. There is also an old beater family station wagon turned surf mobile, complete with a set of cattle horns on the grill. You may see this wagon in their advertisements or at trade shows.

IMG_3020Upon my arrival, we were greeted by a friendly staff and introduced to David Feliciano, Customer Relations Manager. David took us on a tour of the back of the building and walked us through the process of how the boards are made in the Darkroom which is their R&D facility where they test their new designs and work with customers on developing custom race boards. This tour was very cool and something I was very privileged to see first hand. From there, Brett and I were brought down to the water to demo out several boards from the Wraith, 3 sizes of the Darkroom and the board that was made specifically built for Josh Collins, of Operation Phoenix. Josh is paddling from Texas to New York to raise awareness and funds for those suffering from TBI and PTSD. To learn more about Josh’s story and to see how you can help, please visit:  https://www.boteboard.com/operation-phoenix/

Bote provides boards for all levels of paddlers so my husband was able to find a board that fits his comfort zone and I was able to get the feel of a faster board by trying out boards with a narrower width. It was a great day out on the water trying out each board and getting the feel for the different lengths, shapes and widths. The next day, David took us out in Destin Harbor where a little race training was put into place and I really got to get the feel of the Bote Darkroom 12’6 / 25” board and yes I am in love. Chasing after David down through the harbor, I was comfortable on the board, and I got the feel how the nose cuts through the water. You are always told to look where you are paddling but it was mesmerizing to watch the nose cut through the water that I would catch myself looking down and not looking ahead. Brett and I would like to send a huge thank you to David and everyone at Bote for a great weekend and for helping me decide on the board that I will be racing on this year. We would also like to say thank you to Pete Buzzelli for designing my new board. I can’t wait to paddle on it and we look forward to visiting again to do some paddling with the Bote crew.

IMG_3112 IMG_3117

This weekend also gave me the opportunity to add some mileage to my 100 miles in a 100 days (minus the wet suit). As of that weekend, I have put in 14.5 miles and we have a warm weekend coming up to get more mileage. This time of year, you really have to plan your paddling around the weather but you also can fit in other ways to train such as a CrossFit, Yoga and Indo Board.IMG_3115

If you think you are interested in Stand Up Paddle Boarding keep MOCEAN in mind for your boards and paddleboard accessories. Team MOCEAN will be out this spring and summer putting on Demo days, tours and lessons. Be sure to check out their website for local events and like them on Facebook and Instagram for updates on these events, www.moceancapecod.com

 

 Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeinstagramby feather